Zero energy home sends power back to the grid

The US Department of Energy is hailing the nation’s first zero energy home – a home that produces all the energy it uses on an annual basis.

Builder John Wesley Miller will open the Tuscon energy-saving house to members of the public, while the National Association of Home Builders Research Centre will evaluate the performance of Miller’s house.

The zero energy home is part of a US initiative to introduce the ZEH concept into the mainstream home building industry. The new home is part a range of green housing, in which other homes use an average of less than a US dollar per day for heating and cooling through a partnership with electricity and solar companies.

“This is the future for the American home,” said David Garman of the US DOE. “Solar energy technologies are affordable and practical today. Combined with off-the-shelf energy efficiency products and proven construction techniques, solar energy can make houses zero net users of electricity, while staying competitively priced.”

The house is designed to be energy-efficient and is filled with energy-saving appliances and commercially available, renewable energy systems. With its reduced energy needs and active/passive solar energy systems, a ZEH can return as much energy as it takes from the utility grid on an annual basis. The home’s electricity meter will be run backwards, enabling the homeowners to be credited when they put power back into the grid.

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